So a while back I shared some entertaining posts from WaterMelon's forums with you all, even if some of it was seeded by myself. But that didn't even compare to their homebase, Sega-16, which is a fucking goldmine.

And just as a disclaimer, I know the Internet is full of forums populated by people who can't think for five minutes before they go shooting their mouths off, and I don't at all doubt that the inhabitants of Nintendo Age are just as bad. But you'll have to excuse me for being totally indifferent to Nintendo Age when I never paid anyone there nearly $60 for a video game and received a fanboy masturbation aid instead, nor did anyone there ever email me a condescending wall of text that not-so subtley suggested that I'm an idiot who takes every "best game/movie/barbeque sauce ever" claim I see seriously, and that misogynistic pervert who used to go to Sega-16 coming to my forum and ranting about how women like to be raped is more than a little suspicious. I vowed to get my money's worth out of WM, which so far has meant taking $56 worth of piss out of them and distilling it into update fodder. You might say it's unfair for me to pick on some random posters, but since WaterMelon itself is already taking the piss out of their customers, why can't I join in the fun?

Genesis RPGs: Your thoughts?

But apparently you are supposed to "see" that SNES games are running off a weaker processor.

Regarding the Genesis and dithering itself, I do see it but I don't care about it, not because of this "era of CRT" thing, whatever that means, but because I don't see any difference between it and something painters call "pointillism". But if we're going to reduce gaming discussion to nitpicking tech specs, then by God I will bring it up.

How open-minded of you, Brax.

(And of course games on the SNES are going to look 8-bit, eh?)

Oh God, I apologize for some of the shit I'm making the rest of you endure. This is so ridiculous I can't even structure a response, so I'll leave it to David Wong.

And bonus points to Bottino for selecting, out of all the FF6 movies on YouTube, one depicting a fight with a dummied out monster.

And enemy design is even less important than both, eh?

I admit it's been a while since I played Phantasy Star II, but I don't remember any murder-suicide in it. The only thing I can imagine he's talking about is how the fight with Neifirst can be won with Nei if you're really overleveled, but Nei ends up dying anyway because she's tied to Neifirst. Hm, yeah, 1989 was also the year Capcom released Sweet Home for the Famicom, a game where you drink blood, desecrate the grave of a baby that was burned to death, battle blood-puking zombies and ripped-in-half men crawling on the floor with their entrails dragging behind them, and watch an old man's flesh rot off his bones. Sorry if I'm unimpressed with PS2 having a "murder-suicide".

Wow, this guy's on a roll! I don't remember any major plot holes in Chrono Trigger, and in the case of small ones, I think a game about mucking around with the timeline can be offered some leeway there. And apparently, Phantasy Star IV's battle system isn't just a hash of old games? But there's also something I find adorable about somebody with 16-bit's second-biggest wanker for his avatar is calling Magus "emo".

(I don't think I have to tell you who #1 is, but just in case...)

Phantasy Star awesome was this game???

The highlight of this topic is that around page 4, a fight breaks out over the spell names in Phantasy Star IV. Somebody says they're stupid and non-descriptive, and everyone else loses their shit on him, calling the guy a dummy who needs to read the manual.

Now, at least ten years ago, waaaay back when I used to post at VGF, there was this guy who went by the moniker of Hobbes who, funnily enough, also cited Phantasy Star IV as his favorite game and used a picture of Rune in his posts, albeit it was the shot of him covering his mouth in the title opening rather than when he was reclaiming the orb with Lutz's consciousness in it, and it was in his signature because VGF didn't allow avatars. Before anyone wonders if Hobbes and Zebbe might be the same person, Hobbes thought Phantasy Star III was shit while Zebbe says it's "given [him] countless hours of fun".

Well anyway, somebody named Sapharos wrote a 3/10 review of Phantasy Star IV for GameFAQs that I don't care to link to because that would mean being reminded of my own godawful review for that game. As expected Hobbes completely tore into it, and in all honesty I thought that review was full of shit in some regards. One of Sapharos' complaints was the spells having difficult names, and Hobbes responded by pointing out that most of the spells are truncations and misspellings: Foi(re), Wat(er), Thu(nder), Gra(vity), Res(tore), Anti(dote), Rev(iv)er, Arows (a bastardization of "Arouse"), Rimpa (cures paralysis, so it must be a bad localization of "Limp-a(nti)"), Vol (derived from "Void"), and so on.

Fast forward ten years, and now we have a topic of people not just defending but praising the "weird" spell names in Phantasy Star IV.

Except as Hobbes so nicely pointed out all those years back, they're about as weird as the spells in the first Final Fantasy, which were called things like "AMUT" instead of "Anti-Mute", "LIT" instead of "Lightning", and "XXXX" for an instant death spell. Even Final Fantasy VI had a spell called "Merton", which we all should know by now isn't so much an alien word as it is character restrictions forcing Ted Woolsey to reduce "Meltdown" to six characters.

As well as the explanation of the names I just gave, the ultimate dark spell "Megid" comes from the Hebrew word "Megiddo", one of the root words of "Armageddon". And the ultimate light spell "Legeon" is a misspelling of "Legion" and is a reference to an exorcism Jesus performed on an army of demons, misunderstanding the fact that "Legion" referred to the demons rather than the exorcism itself. So much for Phantasy Star not using "generic real world term"s.

Okay, I can't tell you why they named the spell that increases Agility "Saner" (I myself remembered it by thinking of insanity and twitchiness), but personally, I don't have trouble with the spells. But I think there's better ways of responding to criticism about their names than poorly thought-out shit-flinging like this.

... and apparently all you need to do to make your spell names original is truncate and misspell them.

A Note from CK: There was a post somewhere by somebody who said they were in an orchestra, saying something to the effect of SNES music not sounding orchestral and sounding just as "fake" as Genesis music. I failed to screengrab it when I first saw it, and haven't been able to relocate it and I'm getting a wee bit sick of mucking through this idiocy. Still, I don't want the following to go to waste:

Well of course SNES music doesn't sound orchestral, only individual songs are made to sound orchestral. But more importantly, how does music sound "fake"? Well, I guess if it's autotuned to hell, but I don't know how that applies to video game music. And I guess if the music is flat and emotionless and basically sounds like a computer generated it you could call it "fake", but I think "lifeless" is a more accurate...

... oh, I'm sorry, you're referring to how the instruments don't sound real? Okay, that makes even less sense. Maybe I'm talking out of my ass here because I majored in Art Studio instead of Music and don't know the differences between a flute, a recorder, and a clarinet, but isn't this like criticizing a french horn for not sounding like a trumpet? The SNES and Genesis sound hardware are their own instruments, and yeah I'm sure the electric guitar in Doom's Hiding the Secrets isn't a real electric guitar, but it does a damn good job invoking the same emotion as one.

Pier Solar Vs Lunar

Oh look, Mr. SNES is 8-Bit is back yet again! And it looks like he's not limiting himself to pissing on the SNES games Pier Solar ripped off.

Not that I think the original Lunar was sacrosanct, obviously. But when asked to explain why he thinks Pier Solar is better than Lunar, he goes for Lunar's colors and soundtrack, when he could be criticizing the game for borrowing heavily from older games without understanding what made them good, or how if the story had been any more cliched the rest of the game would have torn itself from it trying to avoid it like the plague, or the shallow pool of enemies, or the way the characters talk like they salvaged their lines from Seth MacFarlane's garbage can after he cut them from of an episode of Family Guy for being too stupid. I wonder why.

And just as an aside, this message is actually older than the one where he said animation is more important than color.

Are you seriously suggesting that "blurred lines of good and evil" is an innovative, groundbreaking theme??

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Lunar's generic, predictable story, but holy hell, dude, if "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions" is a fish in a barrel theme, then "blurring the line between good and evil" is a fish fillet in a skillet theme.

Maybe WaterMelon should make a game about how bears shit in the woods, because some of its customers are more easily impressed than newborn magpies.


Difficulty and Save(s) altered?

Why do you people keep defaulting to this whenever anyone complains about having to grind in the game? Maybe you don't have to grind in Pier Solar, if you already know what you're doing. But "This one guy ran from all the battles" doesn't defend shit. I've said before that there's "at least" three reasons it's completely fucked up, since I'm not sure how many are individual reasons and how many are just offshoots of others, so maybe it's time to elaborate on that:

1) Your defense against accusations of the game taking grind isn't that you guys meticulously balanced enemy difficulty with experience points, but because somebody who, from what I understand, had nothing to do with the creation of the game was able to play through while skipping as much of the game as possible? Yeah, okay, I guess that makes sense in the same way that "Alien Soldier is brilliant because the game consists entirely of bosses you're not supposed to actually fight" does.

2) I have no reason to doubt that this Tim guy has in fact beaten the game while running from all the battles. I know some people can beat Super Mario RPG at level 3, Final Fantasy V without Jobs, and the Pokemon games without using Pokemon Centers. But I do not believe for one-tenth of a second that any of these people are doing these things on their first time through, unless they have an FAQ in their lap. But since, as Tulio here has pointed out, this Tim guy is the one who wrote the only FAQ at GameFAQs, I have to ask how many times he'd already beaten the game before when he accomplished this (and how limited his library of games, books, and movies is if he thought replaying Pier Solar again and again was a worthwhile use of his time).

3) Even if Tim did beat the game this way on his first time (I guess he could have just randomly decided "I'm gonna play this brand new game I just got in a way not as intended!") maybe the reason he was able to complete the game by running from all the battles was because he ran from all the battles? Every random battle you fight is going to eat up resources - HP, MP, recovery items, money to replenish that stuff, and the player's own patience. Think about the final dungeon of Dragon Warrior. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up on GameFAQs. Every FAQ there will tell you to run from all the monsters leading up to the final boss, because it's a lot easier to reserve your supplies for the battle with the Dragon Lord than it is to try to fight your way to him. But if you DO want to fight all the way to him, you need to be at a much higher level to get through all those battles and still have the resources left over to actually kill him. And for that, you must go out into the world and grind, my child, GRIND!

4) Somebody who's played the game before is going to be able to minimize the number of battles they get into in the first place. As an example, here's how most people are going to play through the Pine Forest their first time around:

- Meandear around
- Find exit blocked by a tree
- Meander around some more
- Find chainsaw
- Rush to exit, only realize that's not what you need to get through
- Meander around some more
- Scratch head
- Eventually discover, possibly after a visit to GameFAQs, that there's a very easily missed path that leads to a cabin
- Steal the beaver and finally get the hell out of here

Now here's how somebody who's already familiar with this area is going to play through it:

- Beeline to the hunter's cabin.
- Beeline to the exit.

Now, which person do you think is going to be getting into more battles? And thus, will have to have stockpiled more resources?

Likewise, I had spent somewhere between an hour and 90 minutes in the Trench when I reset the console for the Confederacy of Dunces screenshot. When I came back already knowing the area, I was able to get through it in a fraction of that - maybe twenty minutes, thirty tops because of all the battles. I may have finished the first run at a higher level (I learned Zellini's Pyro Petrol attack in this area the first time, but not on the second), but guess which run left me with more supplies.

5) When I refer to having to grind myself, I stopped to grind at Reja's forest/cave, the desert, the Goaman ruins, and finally at the first slide-tree forest. Okay, in the slide-tree forest it was mainly for money. The only boss I had to grind to beat was the first one because I was new and I didn't realize the feathers sold at the first store completely nerfed him. But in the desert area, I was grinding to survive the barrage of random battles... the random battles that this Tim guy was skipping... which WaterMelon keeps holding up as proof that you don't have to grind in Pier Solar...

(Thanks Ragey)

6) I can beat Blaster Master in two hours without dying, and I've heard some people can beat the game even faster. But if the developers were to use that as the grounds for getting snippy with others for getting lost and killed, and generally having trouble on their first time through, even I'd have to ask them to pack it in.

7) What exactly are you saying by turning to this Tim guy's accomplishment every time somebody says the game has a lot of grind? Were you pleasantly surprised when this guy pulled that off? Or are you applauding him for discovering the game's big secret, that this is how you wanted the game to be played and the random battles are even more asinine than they first seem?

Let me clarify that I'm not saying Pier Solar requires grind. It's entirely possible that you can play right through it if you're not expending resources on dead ends and confusion. But the fact WaterMelon keep playing the same weak card against accusations of grind suggests they don't understand how resource management in an RPG works, and this combined with some of the other crap the game pulled like Cult Leader Sigma's tunnel, they need to realize that most gamers are not fucking psychic.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go hold a funeral for the brain cells that lost their lives in the making of this MOREC.